Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

Astral and paranormal experiences, dreams and visions.
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Smaragd
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

Post by Smaragd »

Lievo wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 9:49 pm IMO genetics plays a central role in occultism as well, as it does in life in general. "Blood & soil" offers a helpful magnetism for a person; what "vestments" to use in personal esoteric practice.
The way Theosophists and their Buddhist teachers spoke of skandhas (cf. The Mahatma Letters) as karmic operators within the shells of the dead is quite close to how modern science have found genes operating. If genes can not be said being the very same thing as skandhas, they surely seem to have an operative connection to them. In genes we carry very concretely the karma of our own as well as our blood ancestors. Intergenerational trauma and epigenetics are some of the fields where science have observed these things, while we as occultists may start to look at the more subtle and abstract operators where genetic material may be only the last links in the chain of karmic law taking place. Or so it seems when we think of a medium connecting to these shells of the dead and messing with their skandhas. Surely they are not messing with their material dna structures from afar? Well, it could be the case as the dna chains do take quite a long time to completely disappear and spatiality is perhaps to a degree transcended in the abstraction where we operate with more and more subtle things to the point that we start to operate with spirit. Here we have another window to how crucial ethics and karmic operation are in reaching to the spiritual and bringing the spiritual aspect in to operation in rituals etc. At least for me, the most potent ritual magic has been deeply rooted in healing the results of my own misdeeds.

It is interesting that the Theosophists' most accute and sharpest end of critique on mediumism was questioning the ethics of getting the skandhas of the dead mixed with those of the medium (not to forget the critiques foremost relevance to spiritual evolution!). I wonder how this reflects on the ethics of genetic manipulation. The most problematic thing there seems to be that manipulating the last link in the chain closes the interface where this specific karma becomes visible and translatable to the human beings and thus it can be harder to take responsibility of something which you can not see but it affects your life from behind the misinforming facade. The presence of ancestors in such a case can be seen poltergeist-like, something that has been ripped away a connection to the world and might sometimes in its anxiouos dark hovering behind the surface make the objects move violently. But ofcourse, being powerless - without blood and flesh -, it can not do such a thing without the help of human operators.
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Zeraim
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

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I think part of the Theosophists' critique on mediumism was somehow accurate just because of the spiritist movements of the time. People were trying to find meaning and deeper knowledge from the ghosts. For that part I can agree to the critique. It would be quite the same, as we would pick random people from the streets and ask them how we should live and ask them what we should do to find enlightenment. And would you ask your father, mother or grandparents these things? Were they somehow so wise during time they were with us?

Still, I feel the critique is missing the point if we consider encounters with those passed away. Just like us, as living humans, we are extremely rarely connected and identified with our higher form or consciousness above karmic levels. We are just simple people going on our daily life, sometimes maybe spending few moments in meditation, prayer or contemplation.
I think we should encounter other being with empathy, even when they do not have physical form. For example in case you would see you own relative or some loved one as a ghost after they have passed away, it would be quite useless to start thinking them as lesser than living, some foul pieces or remnants of the living.

I think it is often poorly understood what does decomposing of body, astral and mental forms etc. really mean and how does it happen. Soon after the death of physical body, the mind seems to focus more on the astral body and depending on the conscious state of the dead, it may exhibit very different degrees of consciousness in different moments. But it seems that most are not able to just jump to some super advanced stage leaving their "other bodies" just to decompose, or as empty shells. They are actually still consciously "trapped" or processing their mental and emotional states, still identified with more personal levels of their existence, in a way living with their centre being on the other bodies than physical. Some linger here longer, more lost than others, more in pain and lost into their traumatic experiences, or ensnared by their old physical behaviour. I really don't think it to be proper attitude to just degrade them even further. It would be more efficient, at least in case of beings we come in connection, that we still have some dignity left and treat them with bit same respect we would treat other people we encounter. If we can help, we do so, if we cannot, we just wish them well.

I have observed few (mostly demented elder) people pass away during my life and it seems that it really takes some time, before they become more lucid and conscious and ready to go on. At that time their "lower bodies" seem to dissolve and their focus on higher grows stronger and stronger.

I don't mean that we should give the dead more credit than living. Nor should we accept bad behaviour (ie. poltergeists) etc. We would not tolerate that from the living people either. And we might not wish to heed every word they speak, just like we usually ignore stupid people anyway, be they living or dead.

But if we treat them with respect, like other people, it might sometimes be beneficial for both parties.
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Lievo
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

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You raise fascinating points, which seem to bring to the fore things which I have been processing myself and should probably continue to do even harded.

Given that a) ancestor veneration is still practiced in most(?) cultures globally even today, and b) is attested in the historical/archaelogical record to have been practiced everywhere since the Stone Age, the question for us might be "should we also do so and why?"

Should we trust in the doctrines of Theosophy and of many other comparatively recent religions/faiths/parapsychology(?) as well, when they claim that after physical death the component parts of the deceased's bodymind rapidly disintergrate & return to their various places/planes of origin? Or in the more ancient viewpoints (including Finnish folklore and "-faith"), which tend to regard said parts to potentially continue existing for decades, probably centuries, possibly millenia? In many cases the factor enabling the prolongation of these soul-aspects is the very act of veneration itself.

The above two traditions seem to contradict each other, at least upon superficial inspection. 😉

Many individual modern occultists of various stripes have claimed to engage in ancestor work in order to "cleanse the karma" of their family, especially in cases where said family features prominent 'black sheep' or the like. This may underline the psychological (at least) nature of the practice. It should be beneficial to the operator on at least that level - never mind the "ultimate cosmic truth" of the matter. Who can in all honestly claim to know these things? I cannot. I try to follow the simple LHP ideal of "believe in nothing, test everything". Obviously this puts the onus on personal experience...various doctrines can then be seen to agree with it or not. But nothing should be taken on authority, not even (and perhaps sometimes especially) from Blavatsky herself.

In any case, ancestor veneration in its basic application is a far cry from mediumship or the like, as no dialogue is sought between the operator & the dead. As for "worship", IMO that's an odd concept in this context, as I usually choose to trust in the adage of "dying doesn't make you any smarter".
If there ever was a situation where I'd actually needed to have a chat with the dead, I'd approach it through the mediation of one of the death-gods I've developed a personal rapport with. 🤔

But I digress. To conclude my blatherings I'd opine that maintaining a regular ancestor observance is healthy for an occultist (and non-occultist alike), as a psychologically balancing practice/outlet. Potentially it could be beneficial in ways far exceeding that. I see little risk in it, if done "right". 👁
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Smaragd
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

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Lievo wrote: Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:26 am Should we trust in the doctrines of Theosophy and of many other comparatively recent religions/faiths/parapsychology(?) as well, when they claim that after physical death the component parts of the deceased's bodymind rapidly disintergrate & return to their various places/planes of origin? Or in the more ancient viewpoints (including Finnish folklore and "-faith"), which tend to regard said parts to potentially continue existing for decades, probably centuries, possibly millenia? In many cases the factor enabling the prolongation of these soul-aspects is the very act of veneration itself.

The above two traditions seem to contradict each other, at least upon superficial inspection.
Keeping this sceptical aspect with us in order to be able to present these questions is vital. Also your ”believe in nothing, test everything” mentality has coincidentally landed here on the forum, just when I have been writing an article/presentation partly on keeping such a mentality with us even when deeply plunging in to the religious portion of practice of the theist in us and trying to overcome the lackings in the doubt of Thomas. Someone might call this a synchronism.

Because the occult portions of our reality are so subtle and more all-encompassing the deeper we reach in, I tend to read different interpretations of its laws, often seemingly contradicting each others, existing within each others. Here we are ofcourse in the core philosophy of SoA, often spoken of as the union of the hands. In this particular case I would say that the disintegration of bodies in to their various planes should be seen from the human perspective. This human position is the very point where all these planes meet each others. All these portions of us have always been on their own planes, and only the point of an alive human being – the vortex of it – creates a intermingling meeting point for them in the manifested realm. Thus when someone dies, this meeting point – the crossroads – starts to loosen its karmic hold on the different portions it has been responsible for.

Enter the ancient understanding of the presence of the ancestors, and we may understand carrying in some degree those portions, the mana the dead have left us. Still, the shell including the individual karma in the skandhas is reserved for that particular Monad to return to. We can see the difference between personal skandhas when we try to think of what our diseased (or partly still alive) grandparents have left for us genetically and in the psychological, mental and even spiritual sense, and comparing it to the rather macabre puppet show, a reverse Frankenstein’s monster, of mediumism where the personal karmic imprints are sharply present. In the former, we might be talking more about qualities transferred through power, through liquid medium. The mana of our grandparents are not direct nerve path ways of individual karma/habit pressed in to the Ether, which are then repeated to imitate personality and memories of an individual like in the case of mediums. Rather the shared traits in personality are the portions of power and karma that are truly shared between the family and, dare I say, the closest of friends, enemies and occult workers.

For does not our occult initiations, the transference of powers, work in a similar way, only focusing on the spiritual qualities, instead of personal, and the spread of these in order to sublimate the world until it is no more?
Lievo wrote: Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:26 am In any case, ancestor veneration in its basic application is a far cry from mediumship or the like, as no dialogue is sought between the operator & the dead.
I agree. It was quite a detour from me, building towards the ethics of genetic side of things and what could be seen as relevant ethics of the genetics from the perspecrive of working with ancestors.
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Istar
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

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As a personal experience, I can tell you that while doing genealogy, a couple of late relatives (died in the middle of the 20th century) communicated with me because of their difficult life fates. In another case, I found an old photo of my relative online as a result of communication. I wasn't trying to contact these dead relatives of mine, I was looking for concrete information about them for genealogical research. I don't consider myself a medium, although I sometimes communicate with the dead. What is the reason that there is such a negative attitude towards mediumism here on the forum? However, communication with deities or other spirits is not reacted the same way? Isn't that also some form of mediumism, to be in contact with deities or other spirits? Or are you using term mediumism to mean possession like in old fashioned spiritism? I think an empathetic approach to the ghosts left in the between would be appropriate and a certain respect for the dead.
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Re: Presence of Ancestors and Ancestral Worship

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Istar wrote: Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:42 pm What is the reason that there is such a negative attitude towards mediumism here on the forum?
This question deserves a topic of its own.
"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
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